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Universal Health Systems to acquire Ascend Health Corporation

June 4, 2012
by Dennis Grantham
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Largest psych hospital provider gets larger through $517 m buy--will add nine facilities in five states


Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE: UHS) announced today that they have reached a definitive agreement whereby UHS will acquire Ascend Health Corporation ("Ascend")  for $500 million in cash. Including the assumption of $17 million in Ascend net debt, the total transaction under consideration is worth approximately $517 million.

UHS's acquisition of Ascend is a strategic transaction that enhances its industry-leading presence in the behavioral health care services sector.  Ascend is the largest privately-held psychiatric hospital provider with nine owned or leased freestanding psychiatric inpatient facilities located in 5 states including Texas, Arizona, Utah, Oregon and Washington.

"We are thrilled to add Ascend's high quality assets to our strong portfolio of behavioral health facilities. We expect this acquisition to be immediately accretive to earnings and provide organic growth and expansion opportunities," said Alan B. Miller, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of UHS.  We expect to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. 

"Ascend and UHS have always shared a common set of principals and a commitment to the highest quality of care. We believe that combining with UHS represents an outstanding opportunity for our Company and will greatly benefit our patients and staff," said Richard Kresch, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Ascend.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as financial advisor to UHS.  Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is acting as legal advisor to UHS. Goldman, Sachs & Co. is acting as financial advisor to Ascend.  Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is acting as legal advisor to Ascend.

Universal Health Services, Inc. ("UHS") is one of the nation's largest hospital companies, operating acute care and behavioral health hospitals and ambulatory centers nationwide and in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.